Three apps teachers should use in 2017

27th December 2016 at 15:03
apps for the classroom
On the third day of TES' 12 days of Christmas, TES edtech columnist reveals the three apps she thinks every teacher should try in 2017

1. The Google Expeditions app

Thanks to free 360-degree view apps and cheap headsets, I reckon VR in the classroom will become more common over the next few years. Even if you don’t have headsets available, Google’s Expeditions app is a great one to use on tablets in class. Made especially for the classroom environment, teachers can ‘lead’ expeditions and have their pupils ‘join’ them. Go diving with great white sharks, walk along the length of the Great Wall of China or take a trip through the human digestive system – there’s so much choice already and I imagine it will only get bigger. What’s more, each trip comes along with some info and suggested questions to help you and your class make the most of your “expeditions.”

2. The Slack app

Two of my best friends are designers and have been raving about Slack, an app they use at work to manage communication with colleagues. It’s become an app I want to explore using at school over the next 12 months. Slack promises to help you spend less time in meetings and reduce your emails – got to be a winner in schools, right? What’s useful is that you can integrate tools you may well already use at school – think Google Apps, Dropbox, Twitter etc – with Slack. Better communication is something I know a lot of schools work on continuously and Slack may be part of the solution.

3. The Everything Machine app

I’m always on the lookout for different ways to teach programming concepts and have recently come across The Everything Machine, which uses a simple visual programming language to allow you to connect and control the hardware and sensors on your mobile device. I like this idea of harnessing control of the features of the mobile device through the app to build different machines. There are example machines to explore and you can also move onto some complex stuff involving routers and logic gates.

Claire Lotriet is an assistant headteacher in London and the TES edtech columnist


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